GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) —Guilford County Schools celebrated a major milestone of the $2 billion bonds and touted other improvements underway in the district from the same money.

On Thursday, students, school board members and county and city officials gathered at the construction site for Claxton Elementary School for a ceremony celebrating the completion of the school’s new frame.

“This school is going to be a giant learning space for our kids where they’re going to be able to go after interests … to work with all different teachers in different learning spaces throughout the building. It’s really going to allow them to meet their full potential in their learning,” Claxton Elementary School Principal Kevin Thoma said.

Claxton Elementary School students, staff and local leaders signed the last steel beam for the school’s frame at the ceremony.

It was then raised and welded on, marking the completion of the frame just one year after breaking ground for the facility.

The milestone is one of the six bond projects included in the district’s $2 billion in school facility needs identified in a 2019 independent study funded jointly by Guilford County Commissioners and the school board.

“We’re going to see more schools going up just like this one, going to have more top in all ceremonies, more ribbon cutting and just more excitement and joy from our students and family and staff,” said Julius Monk, Guilford County Schools Deputy Superintendent of Business and Operations.

Other bond projects in the works for the district include a new visual and performing arts school at the former Peeler Open School site, Kiser Middle School, Brooks Global Studies, Claxton, Foust and Peck Elementary schools.

“Those open up a little bit later in the year, and so we are planning on a mid-year move,” Monk said. “So that will be January of 2025, but we’re going to be just as excited and enthused about when those schools open.”

The district’s building services team has been at work this summer, making improvements at other buildings in the district.

“30 sites were painted this summer. We completed one roofing project and have three additional roofing projects that are near completion. We completed ten major HVAC projects and have four that are currently underway,” Guilford County Schools Superintendent Whitney Oakley said.

The district’s 2019 facilities master plan identified 56 schools projected to need $500 million in priority repairs and major building system replacements over a 10-year period. 

“That’s going to allow us to touch all of our campuses, even the ones that aren’t getting major renovation or repair, and that’s going to bring playgrounds to our elementary schools, new athletic facilities, new roofs to our schools as well as weapons detection systems from our high schools and middle schools with new cameras, doors and a whole plethora of safety and security and technology advances, something that this just hasn’t seen in decades,” Monk said.

The district expects students to grace the halls at the newly built Claxton Elementary School in Aug. 2024.

Guilford County Schools has a list of its bond projects on its website, along with their design or construction status. 

Click here to see all the bond projects.